Letters to the Editor – May 25

Gareth Baber wants these players in his squad, from left, Semi 'The Trailer' Radradra, Semi 'The Beast' Kunatani, 'Offload King' Leone Nakarawa and Josua 'The Bus' Tuisova. Graphically enhanced: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Eyes on four

When I bought The Fiji Times and focused my attention on page 1 my wife knew that it had to do something with 7s. She has to bear the screaming and sorrow when our 7s team loses but does not hesitate to share my joy when our heroes add a silverware to our trophy cabinet.
Such is our family bonding and the love for 7s that even my daughter and niece take great interest in 7s. On the other hand, the picture of “The Bus” in full flight and the photos of “The Beast”, the “King of offloads” and rugby league sensation Semi “The Trailer” Radradra drew attention. They are on Baber’s wish list. Based on their devastation and performance, our giants would be on the plate of any rugby coach.
It is pleasing to read that Baber will leave no stone unturned in his attempt to include the “Big Four” as Fiji chases the London, Paris, WRSS and RWC 7s title.
Ryan injected Tuisova, Mata and Nakarawa and they gained quality game time before featuring in the Olympics. Although Fiji did not win the 2016 Paris and London 7s we retained the WRSS title. In Paris our 7s team blew away a handy lead to lose to Samoa 29-26 after beating Australia 17-15 and France 22-5 in the quarters and semis.
In London the Fiji 7s team only had to reach the cup quarters and the series title was ours but Fiji had a scary start getting thrashed by England 31-10. Australia was our last opponent and hopes were high.
Fireworks lit the skies when Fiji beat Australia 26-0 and then it did not matter who won the cup final. However, those who watched the 2016 London 7s final would have praised the brave Scottish who won their 1st cup final in the home of English rugby.
The words of the commentator as South Africa led 26-17 “You look at that clock now and you think Scotland can get tries in the last minute and a quarter, it’s nigh-on-impossible. Just wait until you see what unfolds.”
Scotland had the last say as Dougie Fife bagged two tries in the dying moments to send the Scottish fans into a moment of madness.
A fitting finale! Game over! Scotland won 27-26! My best wishes to our 7s team as they leave our shores!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam,
Nadawa, Nasinu.

Very pro-Fiji
Wow! What a beautiful piece by Fred Wesley (FT 24/5) “Rich in history, we look forward with positive minds, eager to shrug off unwanted perceptions. We are not anti-government and we are not pro-government. We are very, very pro-Fiji. We are The Fiji Times”.
And to top it all off, the use of that pale background was really just icing on the cake. It just expresses maturity and experience. “148-year record as recorders of history in this nation.”
Manz Ratu,
Samabula, Suva.

Food and life
I expect an increase in alcohol and cigarette prices in next month’s budget but increasing it will not necessarily curb the rise in NCD cases.
The main cause is the food we eat and our sedentary life. Get it right!
Wise Muavono,
Balawa, Lautoka.

Mathematics experts
I believe there is a group of academics who are highly specialised in mathematics in Fiji. They excel in it. If they could be consulted and the teachers’ unions the FTA and FTU about mathematics in our schools in Fiji for all levels? Please ask them, they will give a clearer picture of what to be done to elevate it to suit Fiji schools.
I believe we have more than enough academics in Fiji. Let us not underestimate them. They are there for us Fijians.
Alex Waqalevu,

Navua Hospital
Was an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out prior to the building of Navua Hospital or was it carried out after the hospital was built? I believe there are too many flaws to not conclude what some now conclude.
Dan Urai,

Questions for FRA
I was hoping that the CEO of FRA will have time to enlighten me about some works being carried out in Martintar.
Last week I wrote to Mr Moore on this but he had not replied.
I had written to ask why there is a need to put a concrete median with fences, along the four-lane highway from Mt St Mary’s at Namaka to RB Jetpoint at Martintar.
Previously there were only zebra markings in the centre and we could turn right anywhere along this stretch, traffic permitting.
But now we are restricted, and can only turn left until we come to an opening in the median to do a U-turn. This caused us to drive into a side street to do this, thus causing a jam at the junction.
Surely this extra run of ours has increased our fuel usage, and added to our carbon footprint, as well as more stress thus adding to NCDs.
FRA, why fix things when they ain’t broken?
And why put flowers in the median where you would need to frequently close off one lane to do weeding?
Hope you would care to respond to this letter, since many of my friends are just as concerned.
Norman Yee,
Martintar, Nadi.

Congrats Times
TO those who missed the top story of the month, on Tuesday, The Fiji Times publisher and general manager Hank Arts, the editor-in-chief Fred Wesley and others were acquitted of publishing an alleged seditious article in the Nai Lalakai newspaper.
There was much relief and jubilation among our populace.
Yesterday, The Fiji Times thanked everyone for standing by them in the past two years. I submit that such support from the masses is testament to the belief of the supporters in your excellent journalistic work.
I believe you when you say that you are not pro- government nor anti-government. I further believe you that you are “very, very pro-Fiji!”
It is a timely reminder to Fiji and all Fijians of your Charter and what you stood and continue to stand for.
I also agree with you that despite the many unfounded perceptions, you strive to give us readers “a newspaper that is fair, just, balanced and honest”.
May I be allowed to add here some of my observations about The Fiji Times that was printed some two years ago, May 4, 2016.
This is what I said then “Despite the many challenges, you have remained steadfast in your calling. You have been the voice of the voiceless on countless occasions.
“You have stood up to regimes and critics who wished that you be silenced. You have highlighted the plight of many, the underprivileged, the poor, the disenfranchised and many more.
“You have spoken out when it was so easy to look the other way and not report at all. You brought to the fore and raised questions when some of our citizens suffered at the hands of those who should be protecting them.
“You chose not to look the other way. You also celebrated the success stories of many. You shared the dreams of our sportspeople and administrators. You shared the achievements of farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs. You reported on the devastation of cyclones and floods.
This meant that your reporters were out in the cold when they could have remained indoors in the comforts of their beds.
“You continuously spoke out against littering and the need to protect our fragile environment.
You stood for the protection of the “kawakawa” and other species in the seas. You reported on crimes. You reported on the functioning criminal justice system and how perpetrators of crimes accounted for their misdeeds.
“You also highlighted the successes and achievements of governments and their officials. You did not shirk in your duties to question government expenditure of public funds.
“You promoted racial equality when some quarters of our society sought elitism.”
As I’ve said before, above all, you had the courage to speak out and demonstrated your freedom from fear!
I’m reminded of some passages from your first editorial; more than 148 years ago.
It went like this “We make no pretensions of greatness and remember that little boats, to be safe, must keep near the shore.
“We shall maintain the liberty of the press and the rights to all men.
“Many subjects of vital importance need ventilating, and for the lovers of the country, of industry, commerce, morals and humanity, there is a vast field of usefulness.
“There is plenty of room for us all, for our pens, for our purses, for our efforts! Let us put our shoulders to the wheel and heave together for the general good.”
I’m a firm believer in fairness; honesty too. As an avid reader of your paper for some decades now, I submit that The Fiji Times has indeed remained true to its original goals of “maintaining the liberty of the press and the rights of all men”.
I further submit that you have done more. You have not remained close to shore; you are no longer a “little boat”.
You have ventured afar and beyond the boundaries of your small beginnings.
Paraphrasing your first editorial — I firmly believe “The Fiji Times is now a public good; a practical, useful and honest medium for the support of honour, truth and right”.
So today, having checked your bearings, I again wish you well. May you continue to give us a newspaper “that holds true to the ideals of good journalism!”
Once again, congratulations and best wishes to The Fiji Times.
Kiniviliame Keteca

Thank you
I’d like to say thank you to John and Wendy (Hickling) Cooper of Devonport, Auckland in New Zealand about yesterday’s letter to the editor “Interesting memories”.
Allen Lockington
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

The guru
Thank you Raynav for the compliment (F/T 24/05) as it is through you — I have earned the nickname “The Guru”!
I enjoy reading your letters and I am positive that our number one The Fiji Times will nurture you into a wonderful writer just as it nurtured me to develop a habit of writing.
It feels good to see new writers such as Meli and Umar joining letters to the editor column and veteran writers such as Allen, Tomasi, Sukha, Rajend, Wise, Kosi, Mani and Dan continue to inspire! Cheers!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam
Nadawa, Nasinu

Royal wedding
Thousands of people get married and divorced, which goes unnoticed but the royal wedding is taking its non-stop toll. Social media is full of this wedding.
It was a royal wedding, it was a big bash and reality is the wedding is over now and daily works are resuming.
People get over it and show the same amount of excitement in ordinary wedding — if possible.
Kirti Patel

The Times’ team
Congratulations to The Fiji Times team including the letter writer for staying the course in what was probably a high stressful and challenging period in their lives not to mention the feelings of uncertainty felt by all including their families.
Perhaps, the authorities might learn a valuable lesson from this sad and unnecessary saga to focus their resources and attention on more pressing issues affecting the nation.
Colin Deoki

Was it necessary
WAS it really necessary to put up a case against “The Fiji Times”?
Thank you The Fiji Times for keeping the world informed.
I’m staying away from Fiji, but reading “The Fiji Times” daily online always makes me feel at home!
And the best thing “The Fiji Times” is out before the sun rises!
Shamal Chand
Wellington, New Zealand

I am pleased
Like many, I am so pleased that The Fiji Times sedition case is finally over.
In a landmark judgment delivered by High Court Judge Thushara Rajasinghe, all those who were charged have been cleared.
I salute your bravery. It is not easy for all individuals to go through such ordeal.
I have long been a reader and fan of The Fiji Times because of its greatness and credibility.
I admire the paper’s quality and quantity of content which I believe keeps improving every day.
I am happy justice prevails. Thank you The Fiji Times.
Suresh Chand

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